Fast Tip Midseason Reminders (FT15-13)

FAST Tip – – Midseason Reminders – – Dana Sims (FT15-13)

It is now mid-sailing season, and time for a few reminders. Some of these items are based on sightings at the Lakes and recent events. We also have a number of new member taking practice sails.

The wearing of PFD’s (Personal Flotation Devices):
• Although not mandatory, wearing a PFD is always a good idea. The recent drowning death on Lake St. Clair reminds us of the importance of wearing a PFD.
• During every on-the-water Instruction Class or Practice Sail, ASI requires that all persons on board wear a Type I, II, III, or V PFD.

Rigging reminders:
1. Check the centerboard to make sure the pendant is working properly and lower the centerboard halfway. This provides some boat stability, making it less “tender” when rigging. Do not lower the centerboard all the way, at the slip, or near dock or shore, since the water is too shallow.
2. Make sure all lines have stopper knots. Avoid the thrill of watching the end of a line slip through a pulley during a jibe.
3. Always keep a firm grip on the jib or mainsail halyard shackles when connecting sails to them. If not, the weight of the halyard line can haul the shackle up out of reach. At Kent Lake, there is a long extendable pole which can be used to assist in retrieving a shackle. Due to length, it is kept on-board the power/safety boat.
4. When should I reef the main sail? Preferably, at the dock. It is much easier to reef at the dock and take it out while under sail, if not needed, than it is to reef while under way. Reef the Interlake when you see small crested waves and small trees begin to sway. Excessively heeled boats ship water, lose speed, the rudder comes out of the water, and boat balance becomes problematic.

As DockMaster, what issues do I see the most?
• Paddles, paddles, paddles. Paddles should always be out and ready for use – to get the boat to dock (preferably) or keep it from ever hitting the dock.
• Excessive pulling on halyards. Usual reasons – twisted halyards, tight main sheet or jiffy reefing lines. If you can’t easily pull up the sail, check and see why.
• Tiller should be removed from the mount except when in use. This will prevent the tiller from catching on other boats, dock or people.
• No plan “B”? This applies to leaving the dock and returning. Do you have a plan if something goes amiss on your attempt?
• There are no prizes for the fastest docking. I have never heard anyone comment that “they docked too slowly”. A nice slow docking is usually accompanied with comments like – “nice job”, “great job” or the like.
• At wind speeds of 10 KTS or more, it takes considerable “paddling power” (physical conditioning, aptitude, and experience) to get the boat from the slip to the J-Dock, bring it in safely after sailing, and then return it to the boat slip. Make sure you have “Capable Crew”.
• Paddles, paddles, paddles. Paddles should always be out and ready for use – to get the boat to dock (preferably) or keep it from ever hitting the dock. Yes, a repeat.

The Dockmaster is there to assist, not be your hero. Most times when you sail, there will not be a Dockmaster on the dock. Do not depend on someone being there to save you.

Boat Maintenance Reminders
If there is a problem that needs to be addressed by someone else, make sure you communicate it.

A Boat Incident Report must be completed and sent to the Level Manager if there is any injury to a person or any boat damage occurs. The Level Manager will communicate to Club Management and the ASI Insurance Manager, as required.
L1 Manager John M Tiley (248) 635-4126
L2 Manager Fred Trinker (248) 320-4831
L3/4 Manager Marilyn Leece (313) 618-1188

For Interlake Maintenance:
• The problem or issue should be entered into the Maintenance Book.
• If a boat is not fit to be used, a “manila tag” can be used to take it out of service. Attach the tag to the end of the boom, indicating the issue, your name and date. Tags are in the DockMaster box.
• At Kent Lake, maintenance is performed each Saturday morning. Members are encouraged to attend.

For the Keelboats:
• Fix the problem, if you can. There are some tools and parts on the boats.
• Notify the Boat Maintenance Captain if any repairs are needed. There are no regularly scheduled maintenance days during the season, so Captains need to be notified when a repair is needed or IT WILL NOT GET ADDRESSED.
• If the issue needs to be communicated to the next time-share Captain, please write appropriate information on a manila tag and fasten it as near to the problem as you can. Tags can be found in the navigation station on each boat.

Every sailing trip is a learning adventure. Hope you all continue to have a great sailing (and learning) season.

Past Fast Tips – FAST Tip Burgee Articles or

Any question, comments, or suggested topics can be sent to
“FAST (For A Safer Trip) Tips are written by ASI members for the ASI membership, and apply to the operation of ASI vessels. While the contributing members may not be experts in a particular sailing field they are experienced members who have developed some “best practices” and wish to share them with their fellow members.”

webmaster, L1 manager,mentor director.

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